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5 Reasons Why Donor Advised Funds are SO Popular!

September 24, 2019

Jamie Schloegel, Executive DirectorBy Jamie Schloegel, Executive Director

What if, with just one donation, you could support all your favorite charities? A donor advised fund allows you to do just that!

Donor advised funds, or DAFs, are the fastest growing vehicle for charitable giving in the United States. According to the 2018 DAF Report by the National Philanthropic Trust, over 460,000 donor advised funds exist today, totaling more than $110 billion in charitable assets.  At La Crosse Community Foundation, donor advised funds account for nearly 40% of the hundreds of charitable funds we currently administer for our donors.

A donor advised fund is like a charitable investment fund you establish for the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations you care about. To start a donor advised fund you make a gift, name your fund, and then you get to recommend grants at any time to the charities you love.

Here are the top five reasons why donor advised funds are so popular:

       1. Easy to establish

It takes just one meeting to complete a simple two-page fund agreement. Better yet, we charge you nothing to start a fund!

      2. You can give a wide variety of assets

We can accept gifts of more complicated assets, like appreciated securities and real estate, that many charities aren’t equipped to accept.

      3. Significant tax advantages

All gifts to your fund are eligible for an immediate tax deduction. Gifts qualify for the maximum charitable deductions allowed.

      4. DAFs allow you to give today, yet offer flexibility in recommending grants at any time

You don’t have to begin recommending grants right away. While you’re deciding what charities to support, your donation can grow over time through investment income making even more money available for grants.

      5. DAFs can be endowed to give in perpetuity

The Foundation can continue grant-making from your fund after your passing to carry-out your charitable giving legacy forever.

While you’ll find many donor advised fund platforms from which to choose, a community foundation donor advised fund is the only platform that can offer individualized philanthropic advising services.  A commercial platform can easily provide the mechanics of accepting charitable gifts and making grants, but they have no knowledge or commitment to your community and its specific needs in your interest areas.

Since 1930, we’ve been helping community minded individuals like you support their favorite charities in smarter ways. Give me a call anytime to explore the different charitable vehicles available and explain how you can complement and maximize your current giving strategy with a donor advised fund.